St. Pancras – Paul Stephenson

St. Pancras

Paul Stephenson has three pamphlets including Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). He co-curates Poetry in Aldeburgh and lives between Cambridge and Brussels. His debut collection will be published with Carcanet in 2023. Website: / twitter: @stephenson_pj / instagram: paulstep456

What I Can Tell You About Hot-Air Ballooning in Temecula – Lucy Holme

What I Can Tell You About Hot-Air Ballooning in Temecula

Lucy Holme lives in Cork. Her poems feature in The Stinging Fly, Southword, PBLJ, and New Irish Writing amongst others. Her debut chapbook, Temporary Stasis, shortlisted for The Patrick Kavanagh Award, was recently published by Broken Sleep Books.

September, By The Horse Pens – Stuart McPherson

September, By The Horse Pens

Stuart McPherson is a Forward Prize nominated poet from the UK. Recent poems have appeared in Butcher’s Dog Magazine, Bath Magg,  Poetry Wales, and Anthropocene. The pamphlet Waterbearer was published in December 2021 by Broken Sleep Books. A debut full length collection Obligate Carnivore was published by Broken Sleep Books in August 2022. 

Madeline in Bubbles, Rising – Gram Joel Davies

Madeline in Bubbles, Rising

I wanted madness to explain you,
not crafted mascara and perfume
to force me from the crowded bar.

Your blisters, us hitchhiking
into a sandy city. You said my offer
to carry you just made you inhumane.

I saved one bar of Green & Blacks
all night. You loved me in pieces.

Under a snowfield of Guinness glass,
I found you in the roots of tables.

Gram Joel Davies is a poet in Devon. His collection Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press) was published in 2017. It’s been a while, but he is getting back into writing after training as a counsellor. A recent poem in The Moth marked his return.

The Last Boat – Gabrielle Meadows

The Last Boat

Do you remember when we took that boat
I got there early to wait for you
I had on a dress and my shoes embarrassed me
they were too loud for the morning

Could you feel us standing
While we watched the men prepare
Move in their work like ropes
and the way the barges touched

In the difference between the cold inside shade
and the bright light of that Saturday
they carried you
Our eyes did not adjust, we only watched

Once I took a boat trip
from the mouth of one wound to the edge of another
with your nephew and daughter and you

Gabrielle Meadows lives in Norfolk, and works in the arts. 

Kingston Gorse – Lauren Thomas

Kingston Gorse

Lauren is currently a second year on the MA in writing poetry with Poetry School London, with Newcastle University. She has been published in various print and online publications, most recently Lighthouse Magazine and Magma. She also published a pamphlet, Silver Hare Tales, with Blood Moon Poetry in December 2021. Twitter:@laurenmywrites

Safe Return – Chris Hardy

Safe Return

Ship’s log
P&O liner SS Chusan
Yokohama to London
11:00 hrs 4th April 1954

At sea
Heaved to 1 mile SE of Valetta
Wind NW force 4
Cloud and sun
Visibility good
60 ͦ

Found in hold
Naresh Choudhury (?) age 16 (?)
Came on board with cargo
Cotton and jute
Bombay March 20th 1954

Crew of ship’s cutter
Transferred stowaway
To P&O liner SS Canton
Southampton to Singapore
Via Suez Aden Bombay
Columbo Penang

Stowaway received by
Petty Officer and Bosun
SS Canton
Taken into custody

Chris Hardy’s poems have been widely published. His collection ‘Key to the Highway’ appeared from Shoestring Press in summer, 2021. He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe. “A guitarist as well as a poet Chris always hits the right note”. Roger McGough.

Comfort Eating – Sharon Phillips

Comfort Eating

Dark is closing in, brisket simmers
on the hob. She tops it up with stock.

Radio 4 mutters in the living room,
upstairs a door creaks open and shut.

It is the autumn equinox. She finds
an out of date bag of potatoes, looks

for her mother’s old cookery book,
flicks through its pages for comfort:

cuts up potatoes into half moons,
grates cheese, chops garlic, ekes out

leftover cream with a splash of milk,
adds a teaspoon of nutmeg. Warmth

wafts through the kitchen. Perhaps
somebody will phone after supper.

Sharon started writing poetry when she retired from her career in education. Since then, her poems have appeared in print and online journals and anthologies. In 2022 her poem ‘Cut’ came third in the Leeds Poetry Festival competition and another poem, ‘Oh Karen’ was highly commended in the Yaffle poetry competition.